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We’re getting down to it—only 3 days left till applications close for A Really Goode Job! One lucky writer and wine lover will get to spend 6 months living in Healdsburg, working as the Sonoma Wine Lifestyle Correspondent for the Murphy-Goode Winery. I want to be that writer.


If you haven’t already, please check out my application video. If you like it, drop me a vote:




Better still, repost this link to your blog, Facebook page, Twitter feed, LiveJournal account, or all of the above.


Thank you so much!

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Only one week left till applications close! If you haven’t yet voted on all your valid email addresses, please come check out my video for A Really Goode Job:


Huge thank yous to everyone who's already voted, and who's pimped me out on their own blogs and LJs! Though I'm sagging in the polls, I still cherish some hope of being chosen for the top 50. After that, there's an essay contest. Rumor has it I write a decent essay.

*fingers crossed*

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Hey y'all,

Time is ticking away on the application deadline for A Really Goode Job.

Have you voted for your favorite video yet? (Mine, of course!) If not, please please please check out my video and maybe even vote for me!


If you're willing, I'd be thrilled to have you post my link on *your* LJ, FaceBook, Twitter, or other blog. The more votes and even views that I get, the better!

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I’m not usually one to trumpet my causes. But as a travel writer who’s visited pretty much every state in the West, I can honestly tell you that the California State Park system is special. We have an education and recreation resource here that other states can only dream of. And now, as part of the grand and much-publicized California state budget mess, the Parks are on the chopping block yet again.

Read more (and see the cool pic of an elephant seal) on www.eatswritesandleaves.com.


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Want to check out my 60-second video for my Really Goode Job application? Click here:


If you like my video (or my writing, or me), enter your email address to pick me as your “favorite” applicant.  (This will make me look good to Murphy-Goode.) I swear, I’m not that snooty! I just don’t spend enough time on camera (yet) to know how to keep my chin down.

For those who want to know, it took about an hour to come up with that ginormous string of buzzwords. Huge shout out to big-brother-in-spirit Daymon Ferguson for spending the whole evening helping me script the video, lending his flip-camera thing, and doing the shooting.

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Tune in to KGO Morning News tomorrow at 8:12am (Pacific Time) for a live interview with Yours Truly. The topic du jour: camping. Tent and camping equipment sales are up more than 25% in the last month. It’s a live show. Yeepers! For Twitter junkies, go here: @kgomorningnews.

Our budgets are all tight, but we still need a break from the daily grind. Camping makes for a fun cheap alternative to hotels and inns. At Costanoa, a lodge, tent cabin eco-resort, and tent/RV camping area, a room in the lodge costs $210-365 per night. A cabin or tent cabin costs $115-195, and a tent campsite costs about $55 per night. Which frankly, is an insane price for a campsite and one of the most expensive in the state. At most National and State parks in California, you can expect to pay $0-20 per night for a tent campsite, and a little bit more for an RV space.

Want more info? Listen to me tomorrow!

Not in the Bay Area, or not into that whole radio thing? Here's the link to the live streaming audio:
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Have you read Moon California, or part of Moon California? If so, wanna post a User Review on Amazon! You’d be helping me out a lot–the more reviews I get, the higher I’ll be ranked in sales and the more folks will find my book when they search for California travel guides.


(Cross-posted from www.eatswritesandleaves.com)
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Hey y'all--I have a feature in the San Jose Mercury News today! It'll be up all week, but for the moment it's featured on the Food page:


Title is Cocooning Christmas. Link directly to the article here:


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I'm going to get a comped stay at the Sonoma Mission Inn for the new round of CA books.

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And I had no idea!

I've been too busy proofing the thing to do anything cool like looking myself up on Amazon.

Huge thanks to my awesome sister [livejournal.com profile] miss_friday for posting this on her LJ. It's got a cheesy little description of the book using my name and everything! Also, you can preorder. (Hint, hint!)
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Angel Island is on fire.


Do I care about the destruction of wild lands, the threat to historic buildings, the closed hiking trail? 
Not as such, no.

I care because I already proofed the goddamn North Bay section!!!

Every time another touristy part of the state catches fire, my book gets less accurate. Can we get some rain already so the state will become less flammable? Thank you.


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Now that I've had 48 hours to myself, I'm starting to re-emerge as a viable human being. Here's a point-by-point post-mortem of The Book:

* 12 months work
  - 8 months travel
  - 9 months writing
* Book projected total page count: 725-750
* Pages of solid text written: 600
* All-nighters during which I watched the sun rise: ~4
* Nights writing until 5am but not until sunrise: ~5
* Nights writing until 3am  but not later: >20

Just to clarify, I'm not completely finished. I have a number of cleanup tasks I must do to assist the publishers in finishing up the manuscript so that they can take it over and lay it out to create the beautiful book that will be stocked on shelves early next year. 

Which brings us to:

* Publishing date: February 2009 (tentative)

I'll get more information about release dates and the like this fall. 

Party Time? Currently undecided. Because I'm not 100% done yet, I don't feel ready for a party at this time. I will get back to you later this summer. 

Come February, there will *definitely* be a Release Party. Whether it will be held at my house or I can talk a local bookstore into hosting for me is TBD. 

Will y'all be seeing more of me? Yes! As most of you will have discovered by the time you read this, I'm not making it to June Crown for a number of reasons. I'm not actually sure what my first SCA event of the summer will be, mostly because I've let my membership lapse and no longer get the Page. The drive to West/An Tir will probably be a bit much for my current physical condition (and also I'm still not all that psyched by the notion of long drives). But what comes after that, and where? 

Do I still want to be a writer? Yup. I'll definitely do a bunch of things differently next time. (And yes, there may well be a next time. More on that later.) But crazy and wild as the ride has been, a lot of good has and will come out of it. More good may yet come too--I have yet to even start pitching articles to magazines and newspapers to promote the book (and make more money) yet. 

In the meantime...rest, relaxaticon, and interior decorating have commenced!
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"Books are never finished, they're abandoned." - Winston Churchill

"You and I don't reckon time the same way, Clarice. This is all the time you'll ever have." --Hannibal Lecter, Silence of the Lambs 

The book shall be finished on June 18, regardless of where I am with the text. There is a 3rd draft in which I will supply minimal additional information--mostly missing addresses, phone numbers, and hours of information. That will happen in July, and be comparatively minimal effort. 

My reaction to the incipient abandonment--utter and total relief. I'm so, so tired of this book. I both want and need to move on. I need to rest and take care of my body. I need to put my lovely and neglected new home together. I need to get back to my cooking.

10 more days...

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“Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement; then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, and then a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him out to the public.”

—Winston Churchill 
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I think it fell out in Ghirardelli Square. Where it was probably kicked by a fat German woman, rolled down the stairs, and was promptly trampled by a horde of Japanese tourists photographing Fisherman's Wharf. 

No no no...I'm not actually prejudiced against any nationality (or size) of tourists--they're my potential readers after all. It's San Francisco that I currently despise. Notwithstanding that Bay to Breakers may be the coolest race ever, I'm really ready to get out of the City and move on along. 

(I'm currently finishing up the San Francisco chapter, which was the least complete of any chapter in the book.)
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